Win keeps play-off hopes alive

Paul Sandeman
Paul Sandeman

Hastings & Bexhill remain very much in contention for second place after a 38-7 win away to Worthing III on Saturday.

In warm spring sunshine, a chirpy H&B got the result, the league bonus point and the revenge they wanted, without ever quite hitting their stride and fulfilling the promise of the first 20 minutes.

After a confident but error-strewn first 10 minutes, H&B opened the scoring when Piers Claughton ran in a try under the posts with Paul Sandeman converting.

Matt Harbord crossed at the end of the first quarter, converted by Sandeman, who later scored in the corner for a 19-0 half time lead.

It took 20 minutes of the second period for the bonus-point try by substitute Ben Davies, Sandeman converting. A second pushover try, followed by a Sandeman touchdown made it 38-0 before Worthing nabbed a late consolation.

Elsewhere in Sussex One, Rye gave another of the leading lights a real run for their money in going down 26-14 away to Burgess Hill.

A Pete Brown try gave Rye an early lead, but three tries from rolling mauls meant they ended the half 26-8 adrift. Rye won the second half 6-0, however, thanks to a pair of Chris Edwards penalties.

Full reports on both matches will appear in Friday’s Observers.

Standings (played 21 matches unless stated): 1 Uckfield 101pts, 2 Holbrook 69, 3 HASTINGS & BEXHILL 68, 4 Burgess Hill (20) 68, 5 Pulborough 63, 6 Seaford 56, 7 Worthing III 43, 8 Brighton II 40, 9 RYE 34, 10 East Grinstead II 32, 11 Eastbourne II 18, 12 St Francis (20) 12.